❝Urushi❞ a sap made from urushi bark. From the old time, Japanese people use urushi

as lacquer for tablewares, crafts and living equipment because of its corrosion resistance.

Urushi and urushi ware is called ❝Japan❞ and original culture which represents Japan.

People love and enjoy lengthily urushi and ❝Shitsugei(urushi crafts)❞ for reasons of

the feature which are warm, solid, functionality, high quality, beautiful color,

glossy surface, graceful expressions and luxury.


Kanshitsu is an ancient technique for making Buddha statue.

Unlike Shitsugei, Kanshitsu is hardly used after Tenpyou era(BC710-784)for its

expensiveness and difficulty of using.

Modern urushi sculptors make their works based on investigate and study from

document of Tenpyou era. Kanshitsu have two techniques which are Dakkansitsu

and Mokushin Kanshitsu.


Dakkanshitsu is hollow dry lacquer. A method of making lacquer statues, popular

in the Hakuhou and Nara periods. First a rough core was modeled in clay, and then several layers of hemp cloth soaked in lacquer were would around the clay core,

each layer being left to harden before the next layer was added.

The clay core is removed either by scraping it out of the lacquer casing or by cutting

the lacquer figure into segments, removing the core, and rejoining the segments.

This formed a lightweight, hollow statue.

Surface details were applied in Kokuso-urushi, a paste made by mixing lacquer, flour,

and wood powder. A wooden framework Shingi was usually placed inside the statue

to prevent warping.


Mokushin Kanshitsuzou is literally wood-core dry lacquer, a method of making a lacquer


Roughly carved wooden core was covered with several layers of hemp cloth soaked

in lacquer at first, and then surface details such as facial features and draperies were

molded in Kokuso-urushi with a thickened lacquer paste containing wood powder. 

The structure of the wooden core Shingi varied considerably depending on the period

of construction and the size and from of the statue.

It was sometimes a single block, and sometimes assembled from several pieces of timber. The lacquer layer tended to be in the range 1cm-3cm thick.

This technique is thought to have developed in the late Nara period, slightly later than

the hollow dry lacquer technique Dakkanshitsu, and is sometimes considered to be

a simplification of that technique. There was also a tendency, at the end of the Nara period, to carve the wooden core with greater precision, and use lacquer only for small

surface details. This is thought to have provided a step towards the development of

all-wooden statuary in the Heian period.

Famous Mokushin kanshitsu Buddha statues existing today are

Juichimen-kannonbosatsu of Syourinji temple, Yakushinyorai of Jingoji temple.